Pro Organic Belize hosts forest gardeners

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Cynthia Ellis

By Orlando Pulido
A group of forest gardeners convened in the Cayo District on Saturday for a discussion on the pros of their profession. The event was hosted live by Pro Organic Belize.
Acting as host to the forest gardeners was Dr. Anabel Ford from the University of California in Santa Barbara. Also appearing as co-host on the program was Cynthia Ellis Topsey.
As an experienced flora and fauna advocate, Cynthia Ellis explored the El Pilar Archaeological Reserve, under the canopy, as a shared resource and peace park with our neighbour.
Dr. Anabel Ford informed that the plants in the Maya Forest were selected over centuries and generations for their useful purposes as food, construction material, and medicine. The Maya Forest is a biodiversity hotspot with over 24,000 plant species. According to Dr. Ford, every time a master gardener passes on so does an entire encyclopedia of knowledge on these species.
Forest gardener Alfonso Tzul discussed the role of fruits in the forest, which attract animals and potential pollinators. The former agricultural officer urged us to select a given tree species to grow in our own land space.
Dr. Narcisso Torres also added his portion stating that he grows some crops just to feed the creatures of the forest.
Pro-organic Belize will be hosting another lecture via zoom on July 3rd with Dr. Ed Boles who will be talking about water resources.